What a DAY!

Yesterday was my birthday. Started out with both Miranda and I going to the doctor. Miranda for a rat bite that was trying to get infected. Me, well, another UTI. Never had one this bad before, and hopefully never will again!

Apparently Miranda and Annette tried to combine some of their rat colonies the other day. Annette’s oldest rat was protective of the young ones in his cage. He perceived Miranda’s rat as a threat and quickly forced him into a submissive posture. Miranda, without thinking about the fact her rat was terrified, grabbed him to put him back in her cage. In his fear, he bit her. She managed to get him back to his own cage, and take care of the finger, but it still tried to get infected. Then, this morning, one of her three older rats passed away. I have the duty of taking his body to the vet to be properly disposed of. We can’t bury them in the yard, since we rent. And, they are actually way too big to be thrown in the trash can! I don’t mind this duty. I’ve done it more times than I care to count. Our veterinarian handles the issue of disposal for no fee, so it isn’t so bad.

For me, this UTI I have developed became a literal bloody mess over the weekend. By the time I got to the doctor yesterday morning, I apparently had drank enough water to help flush most of it out, but it was, and still is, there! I’m on a ten day run of an anti-biotic and go back to see the doctor again in two weeks. Oh fun. . . LOL If my kidneys start hurting, I will call the doctor. I had a very serious infection right before we moved here about 19 years ago. I do NOT plan to allow anything like that to ever happen to me again! I still wonder how much damage that 104 – 106 degree fever did to my mind.

After those two appointments, I came home, worked on my wolf cross-stitch for a while, then had to take Annette to her Podiatry appointment. Turns out the reason her heal hurts so bad is she has inflamed ligaments in it! She’s on treatment for that, I think. She goes back in a month to see if it helped. She has some odd looking splint that she’s supposed to wear when sleeping to gently stretch the ligaments in her foot. I really hope it helps. She’s had a lot of pain with this!

I bought some pre-made chicken cordon bleu at Safeway Sunday. Baked those before going to pick up Miranda after work. The cake I had ordered was absolutely beautiful! It didn’t taste bad either. Marble cake with German chocolate icing and pink and purple roses all over the top! YUM! I was surprised by the gift from Miranda. It was two of those lovely Monster High “Scaris” collection dolls! The golden ‘dragon’ girl, Jinafire Long, and the very pretty gargoyle girl, Rochelle Goyle. They are displayed near my computer, along with the other five I have gathered up over the last year or so. The gift from Annette is going to arrive today. I’m sure it will be something fantastic! Annette is very careful about her gifts. She always chooses something she knows the person receiving it will appreciate. It should be here soon, along with her paradise fish she ordered for her upgraded fish tank. . . The fish is actually only there for a flash of color and to “feed” the plants in the underwater garden she grows.

The biggest surprise came from Garry. . . a very nice card and a large purple orchid! He knows I can actually keep those alive, and even have them bloom again, so it’s a good choice for me! 🙂 I really like that orchid!

Yesterday was a very long day, getting up early and getting to bed late. Today is going to be equally long, but I expect it will be busy and maybe even fun! I have the kitchen to clean up, but other than that, and laundry, there isn’t much I need to do. I will work on my cross-stitch projects, and maybe get a new top cut out. I’m planning to be a little less busy today than I was yesterday! LOL


I’m doing a LOT of cross-stitching lately. My wolf ‘dream catcher’ piece is about half done. Most of that was done in the last couple weeks. I bought the kit several years ago, while waiting around for tires to be put on one of our cars. LOL I have a piece I want to present to my nephew and his wife that is a Native American wedding prayer. It is absolutely gorgeous! I hope to have it done quickly, but I also have one that is going to be for my husband for our anniversary in August. That one is a Bucilla kit, #WM45656  and it’s called “Love You Always”. It’s a pair of bluebirds on a branch. The saying says :

“Loved you Yesterday

Love you still.

Always have,

Always will.”

Quite appropriate for our 36th anniversary, don’t you think?

I saw my counselor yesterday. She always asks what I’m doing for me. I think it is a safe bet to say my crafts are for me. I love making things, and giving them away. I am also planning a couple of new outfits for myself, and thinking hard about attempting something more complicated in my knitting.

The really strange thing is that I actually have been thinking about writing again. I guess that is why I started using this blog once more. With all my projects, and my housework, and making sure people get to where they need to be, I’ll be doing well to get any writing done, but the urge to write is growing. It won’t be long and I will have to sit down and write. . . Just not sure what, yet.


(Had to edit the anniversary. It is 36 not 26! )

Long Forgotten Blog

I hadn’t thought about this site for a very long time (Notice when the LAST post was?) Then today I got this email saying someone wanted to post something in response to one of my posts. LOL  I like the “Check for SPAM” feature, it removed that post for me.

I’ve been thinking about starting a blog again. Guess I don’t have to start a new one, I can just go back to this one! 🙂

She’s *only* a dog, so why can’t I stop crying?

Six weeks ago tomorrow, Tourmaline, my Pomeranian, jumped out of my hands about 8 inches from the floor and broke her right front leg when she landed. Two weeks ago she messed up her second splint/cast and had to have it replaced. Some how that vet had a feeling he needed to x-ray that leg, and wouldn’t let the tech put her down until he did. I held her for a while as they waited for the X-ray machine to be free so they could use it. There were a lot of injured dogs in the veterinarians’ offices that day.

Tourmaline’s X-ray showed that her leg wasn’t healing properly. It was still in perfect alignment from when I straightened it without even thinking the day she broke it. But, it looked like it had happened just days ago, maybe ten days to two weeks before the X-ray, and it had already been four weeks! They re-splinted her leg and told me if it doesn’t heal soon, it may need to be pinned. Tourmaline has been losing weight since this happened so I was already worried about what would happen to her if they tried to do surgery.

Today she had another appointment. X-rays were again taken (and at $80 or so a visit for those alone, it is getting quite expensive!). The doctor that saw her when she messed up her cast a couple weeks ago popped his head in and said it hasn’t changed much since the last pictures were done. When the vet actually taking care of her today actually came in, he asked me to come look at the X-rays. He compared the first day, to two weeks ago and then to today’s X-rays. There is only a little more bone growth than there was two weeks ago, but that’s just it, there WAS some bone growth! The bones still have a gap where the breaks are (she broke both bones in the lower part of her leg). He suggested going to Austin to see a veterinarian orthopedic doctor. I told him I could no way afford that, so we have to move to plan B… Four more weeks of splinting.

Tourmaline was the runt of her litter. The dogs she was bred from were very poor examples of the Pomeranian breed. They also both have black hair, and are very oversized with mother weighing about 10 pounds and father weighing 15! Pomeranians are supposed to be 5 to 8 pounds. The reason the black hair is important is that in some dog breeds when you breed the black hair to another with black hair, you could end up with bald pups, or other hair related issues. In Tourmaline’s case, well, have you ever seen a Pomeranian with curls? Her bad breeding, the fact that there is a history of severe leg problems in the family, the fact her mother rejected her at 5 weeks and the fact she is a runt all play a part in her inability to heal. All I can hope for at this point is a few good years with my special little fur ball. I can only do so much to protect her from outside forces. One thing the vet was glad about was that I still have her on puppy food, and a good brand at that. At her age, and breed, they can usually stop the puppy food at about 8 months. I have at least another six month supply, at the rate she’s eating it! She needs the extra calcium and vitamins to heal now. At least I got that part right. She’s staying on the puppy food until it runs out. . . No matter how long it takes!

I won’t give up on Tourmaline. I hope she won’t give up. She’s still a happy little dog, in spite of everything. She doesn’t seem to mind the splint. For some reason though, maybe it’s because of all the stuff that SHOULD be done now, I just can’t stop crying. I wish money weren’t an issue. I’d find that Veterinarian in Austin somehow and let him work his magic on her leg. I don’t want Tourmi to hurt! I don’t want her to have a miserable life. I want her to be happy and healthy.The Veterinarian here will be making a copy of everything he’s done with Tourmi, and include the X-rays. I told him I need my vet at home to know everything. That way she’ll be prepared for whatever happens when we get home in a couple months. I just hope that by then, Tourmaline won’t still be in a splint on that leg!

An 8 inch fall broke Tourmaline’s leg!

I woke up Tuesday morning with a sore throat and a bit of a headache. I was thinking, “this isn’t a very good way to start my day.” I had no clue it was only the beginning! I went through my normal routines, put the harness on the puppy, put leash on her, and take the dogs outside. My son’s dogs go in the kennel, but Tourmaline stays with me on a leash. It works for us, this way the big dogs don’t step on my less than five pound Pomeranian puppy. We came in, I got my shower and got a few things picked up and put away. It was quickly time to feed the dogs, and I had just realized I hadn’t eaten yet, I would have to do that after the dogs ate and went outside again. I should have grabbed something BEFORE I fed the dogs!

After the dogs ate, I set Tourmaline on the desk chair to put her leash back on the harness she wears. I was setting her on the ground and about eight inches up she squirmed, jumped and landed, screaming in pain and shock. Before I could even reach down to her, my son’s Rottweiler/golden retriever was there, from out of nowhere, whining and nosing the screaming puppy. I picked Tourmaline up and saw that her right front leg was all bunched up at the end, DEFINITELY NOT a good thing! I started crying, she was screaming,Tessa was whining and Athena was running around not sure what was happening.

I’m not sure why I did what I did next, but I am glad I did, for one thing, it stopped the noise. I placed my hand around Tourmaline’s leg. I could feel the stuff out of place inside. I kind of massaged the leg downward, towards the toes and then pulled a bit. I heard the sickening snap, and cried harder, but Tourmaline yelped once and was quiet. She was awake, looking at me like, “What the hell was that?” I hoped beyond hope that it was only dislocated, but being it was above the wrist, I knew better, really. I called my husband in Washington state and told him we were about to have a rather large expense. Then I told him I’d call him back in a few minutes when I had an estimate. I called the vet we have for here in Texas and was told to get her in, and that it would be $40 for the exam and $80 for the X-rays with whatever else was needed being additional. I called Garry back. We had the money in the account so I put Tourmi’s bed and blankets in her crate, then put her in it and buckled it into the backseat of my son’s car.

I arrived at the vet by 10 AM… half an hour after the fall. Tourmaline was quiet. She wanted me to hold her though so I did. I think at this point, I was more upset than she was. She still wanted to say hello to everyone there and she even got a little growl out at another Pom that got too close to her. Our turn finally came. The vet talked to me about what happened, and checked the leg. Tourmaline complained about it some, but not as much as I thought she would. Maybe it was just dislocated!

Time for X-rays and the beginning of the longest two hours since the night my second daughter spent all night at the ER last winter.  The X-rays were done and the vet comes in the room. He said he told the technician NOT to put the puppy down and he wanted to show me why. We went to an office where the X-ray was on a screen. No denying, it was a break. The Vet told me the other view showed more. Both the bones were broken. BUT… “you did a great job setting that. We’ll just
put her under, shave the leg and cast it. No need for surgery, or pins, you got that perfectly aligned.” I almost fainted. The technician was told to hold the puppy so she couldn’t put weight on the leg and mess up the set!

Every now and then someone came into the room to let me know what was going on while they worked on Tourmaline. They brought me the estimate of charges,
I almost passed out from shock. Today was going to be at LEAST $265, and by the time all is said and done with follow ups, it could be about $565 total! Thankfully, I could make a reasonable down payment on the day’s charges. I’ll actually be able to pay it off on my husband’s next payday. A year ago that wouldn’t have been possible.

I got home, I think I spent most of the day, while Tourmaline was still under the effects of the Morphine she’d been given at the vet’s office, crying. I couldn’t believe she jumped that close to the floor and broke her leg. I couldn’t believe how quiet she was after I’d set it, I couldn’t believe the headache I suddenly had! The stress of this day got to be too much for me. I was stunned that at 4 PM, four hours after she’d been given that shot, I actually had an alert puppy that was ready for her first dose of pain medicine. Now the real fun begins.

Tourmaline’s back legs have bad knees, especially the right one. Now her right front leg is in a cast and she can’t put any weight on it. She’s having a hard time figuring out how she’s supposed to potty. I’m sure she’ll get that under control in a day or two. Unfortunately, as the technician explained, in a couple days, Tourmaline won’t hurt so much and she’s going to want to be on the ground running, cast and all. I have to prevent that. The next two or three weeks are going to be a strain for both of us.

To make things worse, Athena, my son’s golden retriever, can’t figure out why her little playmate can’t play with her. Normally, she brings a toy out and Tourmaline grabs one end, and they tug at it, wandering around the house with this toy between them. It’s hilarious to watch, but it won’t be happening for a while. Possibly a long while. So now I have an injured puppy, and a bored retriever to tend to, a bunch of cleaning I was going to do today to do tomorrow, and shopping that I didn’t get to still needs to be taken care of. Hopefully, things will calm down again and we’ll all get some semblance of normal back into our lives soon. Considering that I’m house-sitting in a strange town in Texas rather than at home where I actually know people, I’m not quite sure how *normal* I can really expect things to get!

By the end of the day, I needed a break and decided to play my Sims 3 game. While I was sitting there I heard something fall in the closet. I had to put my laundry away and found out I couldn’t . The armoire that I was using had dropped a shelf, and it took more hands to put back than I had. Thankfully one of my son’s roommates’ girlfriends is staying here and she helped me get that back together. I have YET to put the clothes back on the shelves.  I told a friend of mine online that I wish real life worked like the Sims at times. When EVERYTHING goes wrong you can back out without saving and redo without the problems! That would have been great after a day like today! Too bad real life doesn’t work that way, isn’t it?



Shelter from a Storm

I’ve been having a little war with a family/flock of barn swallows since I got here. They want to nest on the front porch, and I don’t want them there. I have a personal problem with swallows since when I was a teenager and a bunch of them dove at me and started pulling my hair as I walked home from work. For tonight I called off the war.

Something hit the window, I don’t know what, but it was about that time I started hearing the birds making a lot of noise. I also noticed the clouds. I checked the forecast and sure enough we were in for a bad storm. Those swallows and some sparrows were having a disagreement about which of them was going to take shelter here. The swallows had won a battle with a bat a few weeks earlier, so a few sparrows were not much more of a problem. The fledgling swallows were the first to take a place on the ledge under the roof. Their parents settled in soon after. The wind gusts were powerful, the thunder and lightning terrible, and the rain torrential, but that made no difference to the swallows. They sat on that ledge, apparently sleeping, during the entire storm.

Just before the rain actually ended I opened the door and took a picture of them. They didn’t even move then! A little later, I opened the door and just watched them, a couple of them watched me right back. I told them they could stay the night. They have to leave in the morning though, we don’t want them nesting there. I don’t think they believed me. We’ll see if I have to call the war with the swallows back on again tomorrow. But for tonight, they can have their shelter from the storm.


Long HOT Days

I doubt the heat would be getting to me as much as it is if it weren’t for the humidity here. The days start out no cooler than about 78 and go up to close to 100 with a “feels like 110” showing on the forecast most of the time. That’s not such a big deal, normally, but with the new meds I’m on and the humidity here, it is taking it’s toll. Right now I don’t know if it was the heat, or the new med or just a bad night but I woke up burning up. It felt like it was 90 in the room, and I have the AC set at 75! I had a killer bear of a headache and just wanted to SLEEP. Managed to down some Tylenol equivalent but found myself suddenly violently ill. Nothing I had for dinner was staying put. It was NOT a good night! I’m really hoping it was the heat not the new medicine! Finally found something that works on the Fibromyalgia for me!

This morning I got up a little earlier than usual. Tourmaline MUST go outside at 6:30 am. That’s all there is to it. Today that was a good thing, because I’m taking my son’s car in for an oil change at 9. I got a bath after taking care of the dogs and am sitting here with a bowl of instant oatmeal and a glass of Ovaltene. I’ll probably also grab a banana before leaving.

When I get home I’ll probably have to change to shorts and a tank top. I was outside a bit ago to take the trash to the street and noticed this short sleeved top and tan slacks were a bit warm for the day already. It wasn’t even 8 am yet! When I took the dogs out for the last time last night it was still 85 out there, at midnight. Thank goodness for a well functioning air conditioner! I don’t think I would survive long at all if it broke down!

At home in Washington, there are few nights when we can’t open the windows for a few hours in summer at night. I would open them when I go to bed, and close them again when I get up. I cannot do that here, because the heat from the day stays overnight. It definitely isn’t the same heat in Texas that I am used to on the desert side of Washington state.

I don’t know when or if I will be able to mow the lawn in the next few days. It is already too hot when I get up at 6:30 and doesn’t cool down in the evenings. When am I supposed to be able to mow? Maybe this evening, if I eat first and stop for water breaks a lot, I might be able to do the lawn, it desperately needs it! Thankfully there are fewer and fewer weeds every week because of TruGreen’s care for the lawn. But they don’t mow. They put down stuff to kill weeds and fertilizer to get that grass growing. Well that St Augustine grass is growing, and it is doing what it is supposed to do and starting to choke out some of the weeds. I’ll keep trying to get water to all of the lawn and hopefully, by the time my son gets home from Iraq, the lawn will look fantastic!

From what I understand, this weather normally lasts into October, maybe a few degrees cooler then, but not a lot. I guess that means more staying in the house as much as possible, sewing, cross-stitching, playing computer games, and doing crafts and stuff, and playing with the dogs. I only do the gardening when the evening breeze kicks up and the sun is going down. Too bad I end up spending a lot of time outside with the dogs because Tourmaline goes out on a leash most of the time. The last couple days she has voluntarily gone into the kennel with my son’s two big dogs. She was afraid to for a while because she kept getting stepped on. she hates the leash more than she hates being stepped on, I guess.

Long hot days of Summer, just something else I wasn’t as prepared for as I thought when I came here to house sit. I will certainly be glad to go home in a few months. They are having an extremely unnaturally COOL summer there!

A LONG Afternoon

It wasn’t late when I left the house, somewhere between noon and 1 pm I think. I headed for Ft Hood because I wanted to check the PX for my cross stitch aid that I needed… a small metal board with magnets to hold the pattern I’m working on, with markers to help me keep track of where I am. What they call a craft/hobby section there to me is a scrap book section with a couple sewing machines, notions and yarn thrown in. I should have known better.

When I got to the main gate to go to the post, I was told, “You have been randomly selected for a vehicle inspection, please pull over to that white canopy to your right. All traffic was held as I crossed four lanes to get to the designated area." I then had to remove the keys, open everything in the car up and stand to the side while they looked over the vehicle. I knew there was nothing to worry about so it wasn’t a big deal, just slowed me down a little.

Got to the PX and remembered to grab my cane out of the car before going in. I’d had trouble getting out of the car at the gate so I figured I should take it in the store with me. I was glad I did! I needed it before I ever even got half way TO the store, much less started doing any searching for my item. I did find a nice magazine that I wanted so I didn’t leave totally empty handed. Then I stopped at the Burger King in the mall attached to the PX and got a fish sandwich. First I forgot to get a straw, then I forgot to get catsup, and then realized I didn’t have any napkins, and by this time, my leg was hurting bad enough I didn’t want to move once I got my sandwich! I got back to the car and thought about going home from there, but remembered, the Wal Mart in a small town on the other sided of Ft Hood has a decent craft department.

I drove to Copperas Cove, missed the turn for the Wal Mart and had to go down a block to get turned around. Got to the store just fine, but they had NO cross stitch stuff at all, not even those kits I sometimes buy. I left, empty handed and a little  more frustrated. Stepped outside in time to see a bolt of lightning streak to the ground a few miles away. Great, as if I weren’t have a bad enough afternoon, now I could get caught in a downpour.

I drove back to Killeen, thinking this one road went all the way through I took a left onto it and ended up who knows where for a while. No problem, really, I just followed the main stream of traffic to the next major road and got back to where I should have been. Finally got to the right road and decided to check for the part on the car that had been recalled… the KEY, of all things! The Dodge dealer said they were all out just now and to try calling them in a week or so. I’ll get that key replaced, sooner or later!

I drove a few hundred feet further to the Hobby Lobby. I was trying to avoid them because they are a little more expensive on some things. However, they had what I had been searching for and my grand total was $7.01 which was for two items… The magnetic board and a hook I need for the dog car seat I’m trying to make. I went home, watching the clouds billowing as I drove. I managed to not get caught in a downpour, so I was glad to turn into the driveway and park.

Now I’m home, and I’m looking at the clock thinking, where DID this afternoon go? I had so much to do and ended up spending most of it looking for a $5 item that I left at home when I came to Texas! I wish I had brought that one with me. I had more magnets and a magnifying bar on my board. Oh well, this will do. It’s only for another six months, I hope.

My leg stopped hurting so much after I stopped walking. I will have to bring that up to the Dr. when I see him the 15th. I think the right knee is going down fast now, and it scares me. I know for sure I can’t do anything about it until I go home this Fall. In the meantime, I can just hope the arthritis lets up enough to let me do what I need to do here, which is take care of these dogs and this house.

It’s almost funny now but as I was coming home I passed the Starbucks coffee shop. Now I know my girls wouldn’t go to the Starbucks at home, not with the Hard Back Cafe at Hastings having better coffee, but it made me sad, and actually cry a little because on a day like today, when things keep going just a little bit wrong, and a payday, we’d have gone to the Cafe for coffee… On days like today I really miss that!

Frustrated by neighbor dogs

When I go outside with my puppy, with or without my son’s dogs, we are barked at the entire time we are out there. There is a black lab a couple doors down that barks and barks and barks and stresses his chain. One of these days he’s going to get loose. Today was that day. I’m not sure if the owner was out there with him or if he broke loose but he showed up, chased Athena to the back door where she somehow got under a folding chair! She is spooked by dogs charging at her.

Tessa ran to the porch, grabbed the lab by the back and pulled. I got to the porch about that time, and from the corner of my eye see a man coming up behind me. The lab took off. Tourmaline, not associating the man with the lab, followed him when he ran around the house to catch the dog. I had to take a moment to tell the two big dogs to go in the house. They complied, but Tessa kept looking back. The puppy wasn’t there. I went looking for her, and heard her barking, crazily, almost like she was screaming. I saw the man with the lab leading his dog home by the collar. He pointed towards the door. I thanked him and found tourmaline frantically scratching at the door yipping, barking and just wanting to get inside.

Later Tourmaline insisted she needed to go outside. That is when I found out she’s afraid now. The lab spotted us and started barking again. Tourmaline wanted to go back into the house. I took her around front where she wasn’t seen by the lab and he shut up, so she relaxed a little. We came in and a few minutes later she wanted out again. This time the other two wanted to go too. I will say I was a little stressed about taking them all outside after what had happened. However, my son’s dogs are pretty well trained and stayed in the yard, even though they kept looking towards the barking lab. I am at a point where I REALLY hate black labs, with the exception of Tank, the one that lives next door to my family in Washington. That lab, at this point, is the biggest problem I’m having here in Texas, other than getting the lawn mowed. I’ll be glad to go home.

Two yards around this house are fenced in. They both have dogs too. One set is quiet and I actually take note if I hear the big fellow bark! I think he’s a mastiff or something like that. The other dogs are okay, they come to the fence and I think they want to play. Unfortunately, Tessa doesn’t see it that way and charges the fence for which she gets sent into the house, or the kennel, or put on a leash when we go outside for a couple days. She usually stops the behavior for a while after I have to do that. Still, all in all, the only dog we have any issues with is that lab. I keep hoping someone will turn him in for the constant barking. I can only hope.

Just the Weather

I hear thunder coming up in the distance again. Looks like another round. I just posted pictures of a storm that lasted all of fifteen minutes. Well actually the pictures are of the clouds that are still hanging around after that storm. I don’t know if it is done yet, but I’m beginning to actually look forward to these "cloudbursts". This one wasn’t bad at all really, and it means my freshly cut lawn won’t need water for a few days! It is clouding up out there again now. Nothing much to do but watch the weather go by.

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